Unless you have been living under a rock, then you will know about Facebook’s recent struggle with privacy. It’s safe to say the public perceive Facebook and privacy going as well together as Geoffery and Sansa (for those who don’t watch Game of Thrones, that’s not very well… at all…). Facebook knows this. They can see they’re losing users trust & some are drifting away from their platforms, which has formed the foundations for the new changes to Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
In April 2019, at the F8 conference, Facebook announced a big switch up to how they see the future of social media. 2 years prior, the platform introduced stories. This year they plan for the number of new stories to outnumber the number of shared posts, so Facebook is bracing for change. If any of you have opened up the Facebook app recently, you will see the out-dated famous blue bar at the top of your screen has disappeared and has been replaced with a slick modernized white navigation system. Although this change seems like one of the most dramatic, just wait until you heard about the plethora of other adaptations.
Let’s start with Facebook, the biggest of the bunch. They want Groups to become the King’s Landing of Facebook, so paying less attention to pages and people, and more to the community. This change will make it easier for people to interact with one another as “Friends become woven into the fabric of Facebook”. However, content moderation within groups is often the responsibility of the group admin, not Facebook. So after all the controversy about Article 15 and explicit content, maybe the reason for the focus on groups is to relieve the pressure of content moderation on Facebook staff. As well as introducing brand new health-focused groups, in which people can ask questions and give information about health conditions anonymously, the social media platform will also be introducing a dating service, working in a similar fashion to Tinder.
BUYING AND SELLING
They are also making the most of their Marketplace by offering in-app shipping and payment options to make buying and selling easier for users. Not only this but Facebook-owned ‘WhatsApp’, will also have buying and selling capabilities, with the aid of product catalogs making the messaging platform multi-talented.
KEY TIP: So if you’re selling anything online, make sure to get onto Facebook and keep an eye on Whatsapp over the coming months…!
MEET NEW FRIENDS
To most people, Facebook has always been known as the platform where you can keep up to date with what your current friends are up to. But Facebook wants to change this which is why they are introducing “Meet New Friends”. This allows the app to recommend strangers with similar interests, all found through algorithms. So be ready to increase your friend count at the same rate that Daenerys built her army.
MESSENGER – ENCRYPTION
Finally, Facebook isis introducing end to end encryption on their messaging service, which will make it near on impossible for external users to access the messages. This comes as Facebook are facing a $5 billion fine for privacy violations. I’m sure all of Facebook’s users will welcome this update with open arms.
You may see Facebook’s changes as a huge deal, but just you wait. Instagram is planning on scrapping one of the biggest elements on their social media platform. In fact, they already trialing it in Canada. The plan to remove the like counter underneath posts has received some mixed reviews. Many people welcome this change with open arms, reducing the pressure of social media particularly on young people. Post likes will be visible to the user but by removing them for everyone other than the account holder, it will hopefully allow us to appreciate a post on merit, not its popularity. However, there are pitfalls to this drastic change. Many people use social media, particularly Instagram to make a living. Makeup Artists, influencers and bloggers all depend on sponsors to keep their content alive. But if a sponsor can’t see how popular a post is, will they want to offer promotional deals to the account holder? It’s unlikely.
Another huge update will change how Instagram works. Soon users will be able to post on the platform without an image or video. The new Create Tool will enable people to share stickers and special effects as replacements for self-generated content. Does this take away the fundamentals of Instagram? We’re still undecided.
Like most of Daenerys’ enemies, pretty much all platforms have come under fire for some of the explicit content that escapes their moderation tools, including comments. However, new automated software will nudge a user whilst they are writing an offensive comment, and ask them whether they are sure they want to post it. Although some people will overlook it, it may make some people think before they press send. It will hopefully make social media a safer place.
So there is an abundance of changes coming to our screens with most soon to be welcomed with open arms. Personally, we think there are some great updates, especially the ones that make social media a more secure, safe and friendly place to be. But it will change the way we use it and only time will tell whether these changes will send Facebook and Instagram into a long dark winter, or will they be taking the social media iron throne?